OC Task Force announces new members; UCI officials “unable to participate” in investigation of alleged incidents of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine.

Contact Information:

Ted Bleiweis, Interview Committee Chairman, tedblei@gmail.com,

For Immediate Release:

OC Task Force announces new members; UCI officials “unable to participate” in investigation of alleged incidents of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine.

Huntington Beach, CA, November 6, 2007 – The Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism and Racism, announced today the addition of its newest members: Reverend Jim Belcher of Redeemer’s Church, Newport Beach, CA; Rabbi Mordecai Kieffer of Temple Beth Emet, Anaheim, CA; Rabbi Abba Perelmuter of Shul by the Shore, Long Beach, CA; and Rabbi Mark S. Miller of Temple Bat Yahm, Newport Beach, CA.

The Independent Task Force is continuing its investigation of a growing number of alleged incidents of anti-Semitism at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The Task Force is comprised of various academic, professional, and religious leaders who are compiling data and interviewing a wide-range of people, including students, faculty and community members who can provide insight into conditions and circumstances at UCI.
Independent Task Force members were disappointed when they received a letter earlier this year from UCI Chief Campus Council informing the Task Force that UCI officials including the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and others would be “…unable to participate in your investigation…” An ongoing federal investigation into allegations of anti-Semitism at UC Irvine by the U.S Department of Educations office for Civil Rights was cited as one reason for UCI officials not to participate in the Independent Task Force investigation.
The U.S. Department of Educations investigation was initiated by a complaint filed by the Zionist Organization of America in October 2004. That complaint was filed on behalf of Jewish students at UCI, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to Title VI, federal funding recipients are required to ensure that their programs and activities are free from racial and ethnic harassment and intimidation, or face the risk losing their federal funding.
The goal of the Independent Task Force is to issue a thorough and objective report, with findings and recommendations made to the community and UCI administration.

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